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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 23, 2010 7:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: hey cliff

I'm curious, Cliff ... You have this amazingly specific ranking system; what separates a 99+ show from a 100 for you? A 95 from a 97? Do you have a kind of checklist you're listening for, or is it impressionistic, or both?

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Dec 23, 2010 3:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: hey cliff

"Do you have a kind of checklist you're listening for, or is it impressionistic, or both?"

No checklist, it's purely impressionistic. I factor in the setlist and sound quality, but it's weighted more heavily towards the playing and musicianship. Shows like 6/24/70 and 11/8/70 still garner perfect scores in spite of their sonic deficiencies. A show such as 4/16/78 I will score fairly high based on its brilliant sound quality.

Obviously there is little separating a 99+ and 100 point score, it's purely subjective! Each listening experience is slightly different. Reviewing shows will always be a work in progress for me. Many scores will change slightly from time to time. It's just like Robert Parker says of older wines, "there are no great wines, just great bottles."

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 23, 2010 9:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: hey cliff

Subjective, eh? So you could change your mind! Let us know when you run into a great bottle of '85. (I'd say '95, but I think someone would have to clonk you on the head with the bottle for that to happen.)

Hope your holiday is a 100. Or at least a 97+ :-)

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Poster: Jim F Date: Dec 24, 2010 10:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: hey cliff

I'm assuming the use of an asterisk is to denote that the musicians were under the influence of performance enhancing drugs a la Barry Bonds?

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 25, 2010 9:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: hey cliff

Nah, I think it indicates the times they weren't.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Dec 23, 2010 11:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: hey cliff

From Cliff's post back in January 2010:

The parenthetical numbers are my scores for those shows. Its a 100 point scale based on the system Robert Parker, Clive Coates, the Wine Spectator Magazine and others use for rating wines. Its based on the performance with the sound quality of the available files factored in. I find rating shows by (5) stars to be too restrictive. Of course it's purely subjective...

98-100 pts

An extraordinary show of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic show. These are "the best of the best". Profound musicianship and jamming, a thrilling setlist, and perfect or near perfect sound quality. Shows of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, download, own, and consume!

96-98 pts

An outstanding show of exceptional complexity and character. Absolutely must own shows. The playing/jamming is performed at an extremely high-level. The sound quality is excellent by the standards of the period, however minor sonic anomalies (hiss) or cuts may be present. In short, these are phenomenal shows!

94-96 pts

An excellent show. High-level playing/jamming, but perhaps with some lapses or inconsistencies. Shows may contain some sonic anomalies, however they are still easily enjoyable. These are shows that you absolutely must hear, and most aficionados will still wish to collect.

92-94 pts

Well above average shows, definitely worth the listen and likely a download as well. There may be some moments of brilliance, but perhaps marred by significant sonic issues or lapses/inconsistencies in playing.

90-92 pts

Barely above average to very good for the period displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character. The set-lists and playing may not be entirely inspiring, sonic annoyances may detract somewhat from the listening experience, but these shows still provide enjoyment!

89-90 pts

An average show with little distinction except that it is competently played. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous show.


This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2010-12-23 19:45:30

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Dec 23, 2010 11:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: hey cliff

Thank you!